October 20, 2016

October 21, 2015, was “Back to the Future Day,” the precise date in time to which Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II . In this installment of the cult classic trilogy, director Robert Zemeckis showed us a future with flying cars, hands-free video games, awesome hoverboards, and a whole host of other zany new technologies.

We may not have perfected the flying car yet (let’s get those self-driving cars on the road first), but a lot of the film’s other predictions have, in fact, come to fruition. As we approach October 21, 2016, let’s take a look back to some of the Back to the Future II inventions that are available to us today.

  1. Personal Flying Drones

    In the film, drones are used for all kinds of everyday tasks like walking dogs and taking photographs. While your pet may still require human supervision for his morning constitutional, news stations do frequently use drones to capture images from the sky. Drones are also available to the general public and are becoming more and more popular as toys for kids and adults alike.
  2. Tablets and Electronic Payments

    In the film, Marty is asked to make an electronic donation through a flat, wireless, electronic device. This piece of mobile technology is eerily reminiscent of today’s tablets, which we use for communication, entertainment, and yes, electronic payments. Our mobile technology has far surpassed that of devices imagined in 1989, but the payment function is spot on. We can even use fingerprint recognition to make these payments on our iPhones.
  3. Biometric Devices

    In the film, Marty’s girlfriend opens the door to her house using only her thumbprint. Today, we can use our fingerprints to unlock our mobile devices, view sensitive information on our phones and tablets, and even open the doors to our homes.
  4. Hands-Free Gaming

    The film predicted that in 2015 video game controllers would be obsolete. Of course, some of our contemporary games do still require controllers; however, others, like the Wii, let gamers control onscreen actions with just their voice or hand gestures.
  5. Hoverboards

    In the film, Marty rides a futuristic hoverboard that is more or less a magical, floating skateboard. The types of hoverboards we have today aren’t really the same since they don’t actually hover above the ground -- yet -- but they’re still pretty awesome. The electric hoverboards on the market today are also known as self-balancing electric scooters or two-wheeled electronic moving boards.

In just over two decades, technology has come so far that these “futuristic” and –- at the time –- preposterous inventions have become totally commonplace household products. Did Zemeckis have any idea how accurate his predictions would be?

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